May the 4th (be with you) was four months post surgery. Too bad we weren't in Vegas...lucky number 4 for sure! Anyway, there isn't much to report on the health front, which is good. Pat and I are in Palm Desert for a little break from the rain. He came down ahead of me and I came a few days after returning from our awesome spa trip. We've been walking a lot and enjoying the fact that we can be outside without coats on.
We've had some crazy weather here just as the rest of the country has, though. There were seasonal temps when I got here (high 80s and 90s), then four or so days of highs up to 106, then a day of rain that didn't get up to 70. Things should be going back to normal now for awhile but you never know. There was snow in the mountains this morning, which I would have to say is extremely rare for Palm Springs in May.
I jumped back into my beloved exercise class right away and so far I've been able to keep up fine. In addition to that, I've been going to the community center pool and swimming on the off days. I can still swim a mile, folks, so it looks like things are on track for the Lake Wilderness Triathlon relay that I have planned to do with my sister-in-law and her husband as the rest of my team. We're going to do the Olympic distance, which means I'll have to swim 0.9 miles in the lake, which will be a darn sight colder than the pool here in the desert. I have my shortie wetsuit and hopefully that will be enough to keep me warmish. We'll see....there never seems to be an end to the things I decide to challenge myself with. 😏 Keeps me from getting old!
Other than that, some knitting has been getting done. I'm working on two shawls, All About That Brioche
and Good to the Last Drop.
Then, since that wasn't enough, I decided to start another one today since I get bored easily. I went through my stash here and picked out some mini skeins and a nice dark skein of Plucky Feet for the main color and will cast on Russell Street.
One of these will be my airplane knitting on the way home at the end of the month.
Yesterday was the cool and rainy day so after a nice long walk in the morning, we settled down for some time at home. I've been working on a blanket here and up until yesterday it was too hot to work on it, since it's getting pretty big. Yesterday was perfect to have a wool blanket on my lap!
Oh, a cool thing we saw...we were driving up to our condo the other day and saw a Sharp Shinned Hawk at the edge of the driveway getting a drink of water from the puddle that forms there from sprinkler runoff. Photos are from the car and we didn't want to get too close, but he shows up pretty well. He lives in one of the big trees near our place and usually makes his presence known with his squeaky call and large droppings on the patio and umbrella!
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
As always, coming to the end of a stay at our beloved Green Valley Spa is always hard. This time it was especially so, since we don't know what the future will bring. Under new management, our destination spa is changing and we don't know how things will shake out. We were able to cobble together our usual complete package and the accommodations, treatments, food, and hikes were pretty much the same as always but lack of guests and the rumblings of renovations were a worry. We will watch to see what happens and know that our hiking guide friends should always be around to walk us and entertain us through Green Valley Hiking no matter where we might end up staying. The grounds, and especially the many roses, are a big part of why we love it.
Our last hike was with Kim and was a good one. We went out along a road in Snow Canyon Park and then up into Padre Canyon when we said that we wanted a little more hike than walk. The scenery was beautiful as always and we used some of Marc's techniques learned earlier.
I remembered to use my arms to support some of my body weight to keep me out of the water.
My sister put too much weight on her foot and slippage occurred!
This time we hiked with Marc, who is a wealth of information, entertainment, and technical advice. As he leads, he shows us alternative ways to approach whatever terrain is ahead. Here he leads my sister up a stone incline, no doubt explaining the proper foot placement and the value of walking on the toes. When we come to a downhill section, he will show us how to go backwards to minimize slipping and also how to place feet and use hands to increase confidence and stability. While in many cases just walking normally would work, being aware of other techniques is very helpful and getting used to using your body in different ways and calling arm and core muscles into play can really make a difference in confidence. I always learn a lot from Marc. Plus, he loves my hand knit hats and I was able to increase his supply this time! Unfortunately I forgot to take a photo.
The desert plant were blooming like crazy this time.
This is indigo, which is so much darker and richer in color than what is captured here.
We were really up on top of a big rock but it looks like we're just sitting on the ground.
This was the day of the petroglyphs. We've been on this hike before, but it's always so interesting to see these ancient carvings. What do they mean? They could mean anything..."expert" interpretations are probably no more accurate than our guesses. Everyone seems to see something different but it's fun to speculate. This was our first day without our Princess, who had to go back to work, and we missed her a lot!
Our intrepid guide, Kim, pointed out some interesting things he noticed in the drawings. If you're in southern Utah and in need of hiking guides, check out Green Valley Hiking. They're on Facebook now but are working on their website. All the guides are personable and very knowledgeable about the area and are now no longer formally attached to the spa but have a separate company. We love them!
Friday, April 21, 2017
Our third hike was a good one; not as strenuous as the previous day's. There was some uphill climbing but not too much. We had to walk through quite a bit of sand, though, and that makes for sore legs the next day. We saw more beautiful views; the colors and rock formations never cease to amaze. It's so different here from what I'm used to in the northwest and also in the California desert. We got to see the butterfly rock again and that's always a treat.
We've been here to the Green Valley Spa and Resort in St. George, UT several times and many of the hikes are repeats for us. Nevertheless, there is always something new to see and experience. This hike to Scout's Cave in Snow Canyon State Park is always a favorite but yesterday it kicked my butt. I know I'm just barely three months post surgery, but I was feeling pretty cocky about how much energy I had regained. Sure, I can walk 5 flat miles at home without having to rush to take a nap, but somehow 4+ miles of up and down (mostly up!) in high desert altitude is different. Imagine that! My pounding heart, shortness of breath and slow walking made me realize that I'm not quite back yet but I'm very grateful to still be able to do this, even at a slower pace. But look out next time!